Jim Holyoak


Artist Statement

Through drawing, writing, and installation, I am exploring the bridges between perception, memory, and fantasy. Over the last decade I’ve collected an enormous morgue of paper fragments – found, photocopied, and drawn, covered in wrinkles, stains, and writing. These fragments range in scale from miniature to murals. I see them as individual pieces unto themselves, as pages for hand-bound books & zines, and as materials for dense installation-environments.

Almost all my work is in greyscale. I’ve found that within the confines of ink, graphite, paper, light, and my own body, an inexhaustible variety of thinking and expression is possible. This is especially so given that my discipline is comprised of drawing and creative writing.

Though the content of my art varies from the biological to the magical, there is a persistent focus on the relationship between humans, environments, and animals. All animals fascinate me, but the ones that I think about constantly are the species that never existed, don’t exist anymore, or that just barely exist. I love dinosaurs because they are completely real and completely imaginary – they are monsters for real. The tension between what is real and imaginary, what once existed and no longer exists, is the uniting principle in my current work.

While gravely concerned with the idea of extinction, I continue to defend playfulness, the suspension of disbelief, and raw imagination. I hope to effect a discomfort with anthropocentric views of human supremacy. Just as the fairy-tales have often served a cautionary function, my drawings of monsters and haunted places are situated in the inevitably lonesome future that awaits our species if we carry on with fundamentalism, war, and ecocide.

Jim Holyoak’s Website

Jim Holyoak at Glass Garage Fine Art Gallery




  • Ghost Whale in the Ghost Forest is spectacular and very dreamy.